Journal Article

Splice isoforms as therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer

Koh Miura, Wataru Fujibuchi and Michiaki Unno

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 33, issue 12, pages 2311-2319
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Splice isoforms as therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Alternative pre-mRNA splicing allows exons of pre-mRNA to be spliced in different arrangements to produce functionally distinct mRNAs. More than 95% of human genes encode splice isoforms, some of which exert antagonistic functions. Recent studies revealed that alterations of the splicing machinery can cause the development of neoplasms, and understanding the splicing machinery is crucial for developing novel therapeutic strategies for malignancies. Colorectal cancer patients need novel strategies not only to enhance the efficacy of the currently available agents but also to utilize newly identified therapeutic targets. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the splice isoforms of VEGFA, UGT1A, PXR, cyclin D1, BIRC5 (survivin), DPD, K-RAS, SOX9, SLC39A14 and other genes, which may be possible therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer. Among them, the VEGFA splice isoforms are classified into VEGFAxxx and VEGFAxxxb, which have proangiogenic and antiangiogenic properties, respectively; UGT1A is alternatively spliced into UGT1A1 and other isoforms, which are regulated by pregnane X receptor isoforms and undergo further splicing modifications. Recently, the splicing machinery has been extensively investigated and novel discoveries in this research field are being reported at a rapid pace. The information contained in this review also provides suggestions for how therapeutic strategies targeting alternative splicing can be further developed.

Journal Article.  6141 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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